How would you like it if you were caught in your worst sin and it was put on TV or put in the Bible for everybody to read?! Well, that is what happened to the woman caught in adultery by a big group of scribes and Pharisees (John 8). Maybe she did not even have time to dress but they threw her at Jesus’ feet to trap Him with a question, “The law of Moses says we have to squash with big stones a woman caught in adultery. What do you think?”
They thought they had Him cornered. If He lets her go, it seems He does not respect the Bible. If He consents to stone her, He looks heartless.
But Jesus did not say anything.
He bent down and wrote with His finger in the dust. What did He write?
We don’t know but the word used for “write” is a special word for “writing” a court decision. Maybe He wrote the names of the women with whom the Pharisees had an affair. Maybe he wrote the address of the dirty motel that the Scribes frequented. But whatever He wrote, they felt the finger of God writing in their hearts.
Finally Jesus looks at them and says, “If you are without sin, take this stone and be the first to throw.” The older men dropped their big rocks and left first. The longer we live, the more we discover our main problem is our own heart. Finally all the men left and left them alone.
Imagine the woman crying with her eyes shut as she hears the “thud” “thud” of the rocks hitting the dust. Jesus asks her if anyone was there to condemn her. There was one man who could condemn her. Jesus was the only man without sin, but He say, “I do not condemn you either. From now on, sin no more.”
The only One who has the right to condemn us, takes the condemnation on Himself on the cross. In Romans 8:1-2 we find the parallel to this passage. Paul tells us there is no condemnation in Christ. Paul tells us in verse 2 that we can be free from the power of sin.
Jesus said to her, “Go and sin no more.” That is not a threat but a promise.
The religious Pharisees wanted to crush her with rules, but Jesus wanted to transform her from shame to dignity. In our church, your church, we have a saying, “We kiss frogs here.” Remember the fairytale of the beautiful princess who found an ugly frog who said he was a prince who was under a curse.
I think the Gospel is hidden in some fairy tales.
When she kissed him, the wonderful transformation happened. She had great love to be able to kiss those frog lips and she had great faith that there would be a change. And we, too, come to Christ like frogs under a curse, but the love and faith of Christ transforms us. And the Bible says we should receive each other as Jesus receives us (Romans 15:7).
Most hearts are hiding in fear and shame. We think if anyone knew all the horrible things we have done and thought, we would be judged and rejected. But the voice of Jesus calls us to come into His light and we will be forgiven and received. Only Christ gives us this forgiveness. No other religion can do that.
I remember hearing a pastor, Bill, talk about his childhood when he was at a big family reunion in the country. It was a big picnic outside on a hot summer day. For some reason, he picked up a ripe plum and threw it at this uncle who was wearing a new white suite. The plum, being almost rotten, hit his jacket and almost stuck on his jacket. The uncle cussed at him and chased him promising to kill him. The boy ran into the outhouse and locked the door. After a few minutes, the uncle calmed down and promised he would not kill him. But Billy did not dare to open the door, despite the horrible smell and unbearable heat. His sisters also stood outside the outhouse pleading him to come out. But he would not unlock the door for fear of punishment. He did not believe them. He was sure he would be beaten. Finally he heard his mother’s voice calling him, “Billy, everything is all right. You can come out now. Everything is all right.” And Billy, hearing her voice, opened the door into the bright sun and sweet clean air.
In the midst of all the strange and harsh voices of religion, the voice of Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, reaches the trust in our heart.
About Team McMillan:
In 1994, the McMillan family traveled to the kidnapping, murder, and drug capital of the western hemisphere to plant a church and a foundation. God thought Medellin, Colombia a good place to raise a family. And turns out He was right (as He usually is). It became a very large family: The church, Comunidad (Community), is now the largest church in Medellin with over 8,000 members, the Foundation, Viento Fresco, cares for over 150 high risk children, and a non-profit coffee shop, New Hearts Cafe, serves cups of caffeine and the love of Jesus to thousands of college students.
God is doing so much in Medellin, and we write about here on the Teammcmillan.orgblog!